[ISN] Microsoft Reveals Secret Code to Russia

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Jan 20 2003 - 22:55:05 PST

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    January 20, 2003 
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has become the first country to get its
    hands on one of the world's most closely guarded corporate secrets --
    Microsoft Corp.'s blueprint for its computer programs, the software
    giant said on Monday.
    The U.S. software giant announced last week it would unveil its source
    code to governments to help them protect state software used for
    tracking personal data, taxes and ensuring national security.
    "Russia is the first country to sign such an agreement with us, but it
    will not be the only one," said Olga Dergunova, managing director of
    Microsoft's Moscow office.
    Signing on to Microsoft's Government Security Program will allow
    Russia, and any other signatory, to weave its own technology into
    Microsoft's Windows platform and adapt Windows to its needs and test
    its ability to fend off hackers.
    With this move, Microsoft aims to strengthen its position in
    government markets, where it faces growing competitive pressure from
    free open-source software.
    Russia, long considered one of the world's most secretive countries
    itself, in February will receive the first portions of the code -- a
    sequence of letters and numbers roughly 30 million lines long.
    It was not immediately clear what projects the government intended to
    use the code for.
    "Russia's chief demand was to get access to Microsoft's full code,
    with no omissions," said Yevgeny Karavayeshnikov, head of the FAPSI
    state intelligence and surveillance agency, which had authorized the
    agreement on behalf of the Russian government.
    To woo governments, Microsoft has said it will make its source code
    mainly available to them over the Internet and for free, provided they
    do not disclose it.
    Compiled or turned into electronic language understood only by
    machines, the code is expected to be made available to more than 60
    governments and agencies worldwide, including the NATO defense
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